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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/13/15

U2: THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY--Does it Fill Me in? i.e. As I work and Spin Around the Globe as they have done?

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By then, I too had moved on to Japan. In the early 1990s the mega-hit and renovated U2 came back to play in Japan several times on its Berlin inspired tours while I was there, but by then the bands ticket prices had become so exorbitant that I could no longer afford to keep up with my heroes and their changing music style and changing music base.

This destruction of and subsequent failed but-attempted-reconstructions of some of their regular U2 fan base is discussed in Jobling's work often, but in the long run I found that I could not keep up with the band's chameleon-like music changes. Nevertheless, through buying CDs and replaying them over and over, I found I could keep up with what they had been accomplishing --and even ever-so-slowly come to appreciate what they had done.

On the one hand, we have to agree with Jobling and others that U2 has not been as creative over the last 15-20 years as they were in the decades prior to this. Nevertheless, by then, they had created so much material along the way that we will be able to sing along with them for years and still gain much of interest from digesting their lyrics, their follies, and their experiences as human vessels only visiting this planet.

In short, U2 often strove to keep up with its audience or at least tried to be a vanguard force of its era again-and-again, but since the start of this new 3rd Millenium the creativity of U2 has indeed faltered. Some, like the band member, Larry think that the band suffered in creativity as Bono became too big for the band and headed out to make friends of the likes of the Republican right, like Jesse Helms, and the neo-liberals, like Bill Clinton, and the neo-crazy-cons, like George W. Bush on the Jubilee, Aids and One Campaigns he has been involved in.

This could be true (,Larry,) but where are the creative turns of the past five or so years as Bono and U2 band have returned to touring and have hopefully finally learned from the errors of their ways?

In a way, in his own criticism of what Jobling's Definitive, Calhoun makes it clear that 372 pages is definitely too short a venue for Jobling to even attempt a definitive work on U2.

Calhoun, himself, concludes that it is a folly to try to write a definitive work on the living U2, i.e. as we know the band over so many decades. Calhoun says, "U2 is a band of mortals who are at times extraordinarily inventive and inspiring, and at other times predictably flawed. They create targets for others to aim for and are themselves easy targets of criticism. If myth means, as it should, a story explaining what is difficult to understand, then isn't the myth of U2 what we want to read? U2 help us understand rebellion, pain, joy, longing, art, ambition, commerce, performance, friendship, animosity, youth, aging and more."

Finally, Calhoun adds, "Defining these things by attempting to define U2 in its entirety is a worthwhile goal for a biography of a rock band."

In this, Jobling actually hit this mark. Now, we hope that U2 can do as well as Jobling and with the likes of Johnny Cash and George Harrison or Bob Dylan and others who did, in fact, re-invent themselves constantly--and even at an advanced age


[1] "Bullet the Blue Sky" is a song by the rock band U2. It is the fourth track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. "Bullet the Blue Sky" is one of the band's most overtly political songs, with live performances often being heavily critical of political conflicts and violence. It is U2's 7th-most-played live song with almost 650 live appearances. --

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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